National Network to End Family Homelessness


about the HCYA

The Homeless Children and Youth Act (HCYA) was informed by the experiences of direct service providers and families and youth who experience homelessness. It was developed with bipartisan Congressional support to compel the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to respond to the growing crisis of millions of children and youth now homeless in the US.


The HCYA is supported by over 60 national groups, as well as hundreds of community organizations who are the closest to children, youth, and families.


Some are spreading misinformation to undermine Congressional support and maintain the status quo, including the idea that children living in doubled-up situations or motels are not in immediate danger and, therefore, aren’t deserving of assistance. We know that’s not true!


Get the Facts: 


#1 Children, youth and families living in doubled-up situations are at risk of abuse, violence, and negative health and mental health consequences. The HCYA extends the definition of homelessness to children and youth who are already verified as being homeless by one of eight specified federal agencies or programs. By aligning HUD’s definition with other federal agencies, children and youth are eligible to be assessed for HUD Homelessness Assistance based on their level of vulnerability – just like everyone else.


#2 The HCYA strengthens HUD’s ability to reward effective practices, while curtailing funding decisions based on who is served or which housing model is used. In fact, the HCYA compels HUD to respond to new research on effective practices, while limiting unilateral decisions that mandate the use of housing models that don’t always work for children and families. This shift supports evidence-based practices and gives providers more flexibility in meeting the needs of those they serve.


#3 The HCYA requires HUD and its grantees to include data on children and youth identified as homeless by one of eight federal agencies that verify child and youth homelessness. This data is already collected by the federal government and can be easily accessed for no extra cost by HUD and by local communities. The HCYA also requires HUD to include these numbers in their annual reports to Congress, ensuring elected officials understand the full magnitude of homelessness in the United States before allocating funds to address it. This shift will not cost HUD or local communities a dime, and has the potential to increase funding.


Click here for more facts and contact your Congressional Representative here to share the facts today.


And share this message with your colleagues & friends!